Research in Marketing

In the Department of Marketing, we have a vibrant research culture with two specialisms: Market Dynamics and Consumer Research.

A female lecturer with long blonde hair delivering a presentation
Marketing lecture

Our research

At Lancaster, we have one of the largest groups of marketing academics in the UK. We disseminate our research through top international journals, and through international, interdisciplinary conference presentations.

Many of our researchers work closely with marketing practitioners to ensure our research is engaging and impactful for commercial and public-sector organisations.

We have two specialisms: Market Dynamics and Consumer Research.

Market Dynamics

Our Market Dynamics Research Group seeks to identify, understand and help solve complex organisational, national and global level challenges through the adoption of strategic market-driven theoretical lenses. Our research ethos is centred on a highly connected and engaged approach, working in collaboration with national and international private industry and public sector on the role of Artificial Intelligence, social/sustainable innovation, big data analytics, the future of vehicular mobility, and technology-led circular solutions.

Sustainable Innovation

Our research helps organisations create a more sustainable future

Marketing and Digital Strategy

Our research lies at the intersection of technological transformation and strategic design


We help to shape what markets are, what they can do, and what they can become

Design-Led Thinking

We investigate and utilise design-led approaches to shape organisational eco-systems and drive strategic value

Market Dynamics Accordion

Entrepreneurship in Rio's Favelas

Find out more about Dr Josiane Fernandes’ trips to Rio’s favelas and see how they inspired her research.

Transcript for Entrepreneurship in Rio's Favelas

I'm Josi. I am originally from Brazil, and I'm a Marketing Lecturer here in LUMS.

Broadly speaking, I research markets, how markets are made, why they work the way they do. And in the past six years, I've been researching Brazilian favelas and the tourist market in Brazilian favelas, specifically.

Thinking of these grand challenges that we have nowadays, you know, poverty, inequality, climate change. These things really require that we ask new questions and find new answers to some of these great problems that we have, and I thought, what better place to go than actually talking to people who are going through some of these great struggles. It's completely detached from our everyday realities, completely detached from my reality.

So favelas are a very interesting setting to look at entrepreneurial work. Because of the social exclusion and spatial exclusion really of favelas in Rio, people there need to find a way to make a living. And so they get very creative and they use whatever resources they have available simply because there isn't much available, they can't really rely on the typical institutions that people in formal markets can rely on. So they don't have public safety, they don't have basic infrastructure, you know, things that we take for granted in formal markets are not present in a favela.

So when you go there, you get to actually witness how people make a living and how do they survive in a context where they are deemed by the outside people, people from the city, from other places, as criminals. They're bundled as criminals, you know, they're bundled as people who are not interested in hard work, who are lazy. They're really stigmatised.

I think it's important that we bring insights from different places and we really provide a rich experience and a richness of discussion to our students. And then going to these different places and talking to different people who are living different lives, I think it really brings that to the classroom and helps students widen their perspective on things and be critical of some of the things that are out there.

I don't think I have words to describe how impactful that experience was for me because, as with any research, you go to the field thinking you're going to find something, you have some assumptions about what you're going to find, and then it completely takes its own shape and the research is something that is kind of alive. So it kind of follows its own thing you are just following it around.

It's shaped my interest, my research interest really, because I went to the field thinking I was interested in some things and I ended up being interested in other things. So at the same time that I was there interacting with them my research was being shaped by that experience as I went along.

Consumer Research

We have a tradition of fostering expertise across consumers and consumption. This resulted in the launch of the Centre for Consumption Insights. Although our interests transcend many theoretical perspectives, they share a commitment to engaged scholarship and impact. This results in contributions to solving issues of social justice, vulnerable consumers, sustainable innovation, disability, health inequalities, and wellbeing. Our approach is embedded within the transformative consumer research ethos, utilising contemporary consumer culture theory, sociology, psychology and consumer marketing to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and application to create positive societal change.

Digital Consumption

We critically examine the changing lives of digital consumers amidst rapid accelerated technological change

Centre for Consumption insights

Our centre for excellence in consumer thinking is at the forefront of multidisciplinary research

Social Justice

We help shape a better, fairer society through collaborative research.

Health Inequality

Our research identifies and helps to reduce inequality to create a better future for all.

Consumer Research Accordion

Commercial experiences of disability

Take a look at some of the artwork from the Marketplace and I, and allow Dr Leighanne Higgins to guide you through her work.

The Marketplace and I

Transcript for Commercial experiences of disability

So, my name is Leighanne Higgins and I'm a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Lancaster University Management School.

My work on disability access to marketplace and commercial settings began in 2015 - 2016.

I wanted to understand what were the barriers to access to commercial settings for persons with disabilities, and as part of that I travelled with a wonderful charity called The Jumbulance Trust.

There were so many things that the people I was working with couldn't do and were reliant and needed assistance with.

But there were these beautiful, creative ways that they expressed their sense of self. and I just thought, how great would it be if instead of us doing the traditional interview, we actually heard their experiences or saw their experiences through the way that they actually express their sense of self through their creative talents. And also, in doing that, I thought that way we're prioritising ability over disability. We're not looking at what they can't do, we're looking at what they can do and we're prioritising that, and from that, we can learn about commercial experiences and how the marketplace could actually change to better include persons with disabilities.

It's hugely important that we address marketplace accessibility issues, and the reason for that is there is 1 billion people, approximately a billion people, which is 15% of the world population, who are actually registered as disabled. So that's a huge part of the world.

It's actually the largest minority group that we have.

From a financial perspective, it's hugely important. The purple pound, which sort of shows the disposable income of persons with disabilities, that's estimated at £7 trillion across the world. And within the UK, it's estimated that the disposable income of persons with disabilities is £249 billion. So that's a huge amount of money that the marketplace and commercial settings could be tapping into.

But further from that, we're also seeing that a lot of people are going to be transitioning into disability due to COVID, due to the pandemic, and due to the fact that we're an aging demographic.

We're all temporarily able-bodied, that's what Dan Goodley, within Disability Studies says, because we all are going to suffer sort of bodily deterioration as we age.

So disability is something that marketplace and commercial settings really do need to think about and marketplace accessibility is a huge area that really is deserving of marketing and company attention.

So in terms of how retailers can improve marketplace accessibility for persons with impairment and their family members, there's lots of different ways that they can do it.

Quite often through sort of regulations such as the DDA or the ADA in America, we see that there are regulations where they have to have ramps, where they have to have elevators, where there has to be sort of disabled access.

But I think the biggest thing that companies really need to focus on is seeing the person behind the disability, knowing who to talk to and knowing how to interact with persons with disabilities.

I think that's the core thing, that we need to see the person behind the disability and work out how companies can really try and embrace the person over the disability.